For Mother’s Day I went to San Francisco for a girls weekend. My friend Katie lives in South San Francisco and had a baby in January. So, my friend Melissa and I met in San Francisco for the weekend to see Katie and meet her new baby boy, Tripp. Katie, Melissa and I used to be roommates in Arlington, Virginia and now all live in different states. Melissa still lives in Arlington, Virginia so I’m able to see her when I go home to visit my family. But, since Katie lives so far away, we try to see one another at least once a year. Last year I visited Katie for Memorial Day.
The weekend of April 27 to April 29, Jeremy and I visited our friends Kristyn and Jason Schellhaas in New Orleans. I’ve only been to New Orleans once before, and that was a few years back to visit them. Last time I unfortunately came down with a horrible bug and was extremely sick the entire weekend. So, this time I was looking forward to being healthy and being able to taste the New Orleans Cajun style food and drinks. Jeremy and I met Kristyn and Jason while living in DC and have stayed in touch with them after they moved to New Orleans and Jeremy and I moved to Atlanta. We had an amazing weekend filled with perfect weather, great friends, fabulous food, drinks and live music.
Jeremy and I had an amazing opportunity to visit Nepal with his Uncle Byron, Aunt Cynthia (the aunt and uncle who we visited over Thanksgiving to their vacation home in Ojai, California), sister Molly and his Aunt Cynthia’s best friend Donatella. Jeremy’s family has donated to Mercy Corps, a global non-governmental, humanitarian aid organization for the past 10 years. Mercy Corps specializes in operating in areas that have undergone/are currently undergoing various forms of economic, environmental social and political instabilities. So, Mercy Corps is really making a difference in the world.
I went to Tulum, Mexico for a last minute girls weekend. My best friend Joanna (and one of my bridesmaids) had planned a trip with another one of her friends Alexa from Houston, Texas. On New Year’s Day they both decided they needed to get out of the cold weather and planned a trip to visit Tulum, Mexico. Luckily they ended up having room in their Airbnb and so I bought a last minute plane ticket to join!
I’d previously visited Tulum in 2013 with my husband and his family. We stayed in a villa on the beautiful sandy beaches of Soliman Bay, about 20 minutes north of Tulum in Riviera Maya. For a family vacation, I highly recommend renting a house as it’s great to all spend time together rather than having 5 different hotel rooms. But, for a girl’s weekend our Airbnb in Tulum was absolutely perfect! Our Airbnb was located outside Tulum and about a 10 minute drive or 20 minute bike ride to the beach.
Jeremy and I went to Hilton Head to spend some time with his family after Christmas. However, another reason we went to Hilton Head was to celebrate my brother-in-law’s 30th birthday on December 28!
After spending Christmas in Virginia with my family, I flew home on Wednesday December 27 to Atlanta for a night. Then, on Thursday December 28 Jeremy and I drove to Hilton Head, South Carolina to visit his mom, step-dad and sisters.
As I’ve recapped in prior years (see 2015 and 2016) Christmas is my favorite holiday to spend with my family. I flew home to Virginia on December 23 and spent four days with my family. Christmas Eve is our big night with my mom’s side of the family. My mom is one of 6 siblings and all my aunts, uncles and cousins live in Northern, Virginia. My grandmother used to host Christmas Eve dinner. However, the last couple of years my mom has hosted since my grandmother now lives full time in Florida. Then, Christmas day we spend the morning with my mom opening our stockings and presents. Then we spend the afternoon and have dinner with my dad and step-family.
After spending a couple of days in Los Angeles, we drove north to Ojai, California to have Thanksgiving with Jeremy’s family. Jeremy’s aunt and uncle live in Portland, Oregon but purchased a vacation home in Ojai, California. Ojai is a small, charming city in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles. It’s set in a valley in the Topatopa Mountains.
Jeremy’s aunt and uncle live in Portland, Oregon, but they purchased a second home in Ojai, California. So, this year we celebrated Thanksgiving on the west coast in Ojai. Since Jeremy and I love southern California so much, we flew in early before his family got in to spend some time in Los Angeles.
Mid September I visited Charleston, South Carolina with my three college roommates, Lanie, Lisa and Erin. After all this time we’ve remained friends, even if we don’t see eye to eye on everything. At this point we’re more like sisters than friends since we’ve seen each other at our best and at our worst. The three of them live in Virginia and I live in Atlanta now. So, every year we plan a girls weekend to get together and pick a destination. This year we chose Charleston, South Carolina.
Fall weddings are always so beautiful. The weather is cooler and the leaves begin to change colors. On Saturday September 9, I attended my friend Gracie’s wedding in Boone, North Carolina. Gracie married her longtime love and best friend, Jeff. Unfortunately, Jeremy was sick and so was unable to attend the wedding. But, luckily my friend Jenna was also invited to Gracie and Jeff’s wedding so we made it a girls weekend.
As I stated in my Monterey blog post, we ended up loving Carmel more than Monterey. Carmel is a quieter beach town. Carmel is known for Pebble beach and the 17-Mile Drive. Most of the photos taken here and in my Monterey blog post were from the 17-Mile Drive. The drive takes you through Pebble Beach and Pacific Grove. The drive passes famous golf courses, mansions and scenic attractions. Some of the scenic attractions includes the Lone Cypress (see Lone Cypress photos from my Monterey blog post), Bird Rock and the 5,300-acre Del Monte Forest of Monterey Cypress trees. The drive is absolutely stunning and you can’t go to Carmel without driving through.